Battery Operated Cordless Nailers – Be Informed

Editorial – Cordless Finish Nailers

Editors Note: Rob and I are dedicated to bringing unbiased opinions, evaluations, and reviews to our readers. Both of us spend our days on real job sites with men and women that use tools to make a living. Unlike many of the publications that publish tool reviews we are in the field every day surrounded by tools and tradesmen and that makes our opinions unique and highly qualified. We hope you’ll take the time to learn the background and experience of the folks that are publishing tool reviews online, especially when some of those publications are written by people that either have never worked in the trades, or who haven’t been in the trades in a very long time.
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 With the introduction of battery operated cordless finish nailers by several Brands there’s lots of conversation among carpenters about whether these new tools can compete with pneumatics and ultimately who makes the best version.

The most recent entry into this category is Milwaukee with several new battery powered brad/finish nailers. With those new releases there have been several articles and videos on the internet regarding Milwaukee finish nailers and run time tests – problem is RUN TIME tests are flawed.

Before designing a run time test we should ask ourselves how many nails the average trim carpenter uses in a given day. A box of finish nails is often 500 to 1000 fasteners. I don’t know many trim carpenters that will shoot an entire box in a day.

So the real question with these new nailers is: Does RUN time even come into play? With increased battery sizes and performance, it’s hard to imagine that run time will be a deciding factor in which nailer you purchase.

In addition, most of the tests we’ve seen so far are seriously flawed with regard to the use of bump mode. These tools are NOT designed to run at a sprinters pace….trim carpentry is slow and methodical craftsmanship not guerilla warfare! That is why these tools are really designed to operate at a normal fastening rate for FINISH carpentry, NOT framing.

Rapid fire run-time testing is NOT realistic. This might make a fun video but anyone using a finish nailer in this fashion isn’t a PRO and likely isn’t successful in his or her business. PRO tradesmen wouldn’t abuse their tools in this fashion so we fail to see any good reason to evaluate the tool in this way. The one exception would be that this is a good way to see how manufacturers have designed their tool to shut down if the overuse could cause damage to the tool. Having that type of built-in protection certainly is nice piece of mind for your investment.

Frankly, the results don’t really tell us much. Some of the recent posts we’ve read seem focused on bashing the new Milwaukee nailers based solely on rapid fire bump testing. We certainly don’t agree with this assessment and think you should be careful with those type of reviews.

Here’s What You Should Be Considering

Is the nailer well made, durable, and performs to the level that makes your work efficient and trouble free. Does the cordless nailer compliment the existing battery platform you’re already using for other cordless tools? Does the nailer use readily available fasteners that you can pick up at your local lumber supply house?

We’ve tested many of the current cordless nailers available on the market. In a recent article we compared some of the best cordless finish nailers on the market and found them to be future of finish nailing and likely the beginning of the end for pneumatic finish nailers.

Rob recently did a review of the new Milwaukee Cordless Brad Nailer and had great things to say about it. I’ll be reviewing this new tool as well here on TBB very soon with an eye on comparing it to the recent head to head we did on cordless nailers. Based on both of our initial assessments of this new tool we really feel that some of the other reviews and videos are misleading. Many of the cordless nailers we’ve tested are well built and perform very well. We certainly didn’t make our judgements of those nailers by who could shoot the fastest!

The bottom line is this, don’t believe all they hype you see/read from folks that don’t make a living with these tools. Do your home work, take the time to think about how you use the tools and then find reviews and videos that address those concerns. We certainly don’t have all the answers, but I can assure you we work hard to provide honest feedback about tools we use to make a living.

Video Editorial – Cordless Nailer Evaluation

Here are some thoughts from Rob as well:

About the author

Todd Fratzel

Todd Fratzel is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Tool Box Buzz, and the President of Front Steps Media, LLC, a web based media company focused on the Home Improvement and Construction Industry.He is also the Principal Engineer for United Construction Corp., located in Newport, NH. In his capacity at United he oversees the Residential and Commercial Building Division along with all Design-Build projects.He is also the editor of Home Construction & Improvement.

@tfratzelTodd Fratzel

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  1. Eric

    This is the second tool blog I’ve seen to jump to milwaukee’s defence. Are they paying you?

    1. Todd Fratzel

      Eric – No one tells us what to write. We test a lot of tools….we have a fairly large group of tradesmen working on lots of different tool brands constantly. Did you see our recent head to head involving cordless finish nailers ?

      While we didn’t test the Milwaukee at that time, we are fresh with our evaluation of almost every cordless version on the market. So I think it’s fair to see we know what we’re talking about. As I’ve said, I don’t think it’s the best one on the market, but some of the reviews online are way off basis in my opinion (and quite honestly other members of our team).

      Sure we have sponsors on the site (quite a few including Milwaukee, DEWALT, Ridgid, Ryobi, Bosch and others). What I can tell you is we have a long track record of writing honest reviews, we’re not swayed by anyone, and we write it how we see it. We make a living using tools, and we get the opportunity to see/try/review many more tools than the average consumer, so I think we’ve got a good take on how things stack up.

      One more point I’d like to make, and this is important. When we test a tool, if it has a major problem, or really “sucks”, then we don’t post it. I see no value in bashing tools. If we get a tool like that (and trust me, we’ve had plenty from many of the big brands), we’ll share our thoughts with the designers. If you read about a tool on our site, we think it’s a decent tool that deserves coverage. The bottom line is we’ve never, and never will do any review for money.

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